I’ve been trying to read more. In theory, if I keep a book nearby to grab during all of my nursing sessions, I could read quite a bit. Of course, this means staying on top of things and making sure there’s a book I’d like to read in the house!
Right now, I’m [re]reading Future Men. This is not a book review. Perhaps one will be forthcoming, but I just had to note something so good, so interesting.
As you would assume, this is a book on raising boys to be men. (Believe it or not, becoming a man doesn’t happen by simply allowing to Time to do its thing!) One chapter is titled, “Secret Sin, Tolerated Sin.” Here’s the snippet and thought I wanted to share:
But not all sin is hidden away. In many homes there is another category, that of open, tolerated sin.
Pause. What do you think he’s going to address? Something pretty big and bad, right? Something scandalous that certainly we would never allow, right? I guess that’s what I was ready for. But instead:
This is usually tolerated verbal sin — words spoken around the house. There are many aspects to this because we sin more with our mouths than any other way…
Isn’t that interesting? The sins of spreading falsehood, foolish presumptions, just too much talking, spite, haste, gossip — things that are so often right under our noses, and we don’t even notice. (Perhaps we easily grow accustomed to the stench?)
Can I just say one more thing about how awesome my parents are? Sorry to sound like a Johnny One-note (but you would, too, you know!)
My parents didn’t tolerate these sins in our house. No one got off the hook because, you know, it’s just home and family and we should be free to let our guard down a bit now and then… We weren’t allowed to blow up at each other, get snippy and rude, make sarcastic comments, and Mom piped up when the conversation was veering quickly into the muck and mire of gossip, mockery, or just plain foolishness. No one got roasted around the family dinner table. Well, except for a few choice politicians now and then, and even so, we’d end up getting called on the carpet and told to honor and pray for our leaders. See? It just wasn’t allowed.
And I really appreciate that! There is no loophole in the scriptures for speaking wholesome words — unless you’re just talking with a sibling, in which case you can enjoy all the tasty trifles you want.
If anything, our family relationships should be where we learn the art of holding our tongues, guarding our words, cultivating speech that is seasoned with grace. There, we learn how to repent for hasty words, foolish conversations, barbed comments, taking full responsibility for the effects of such actions.
Because watching our speech isn’t just something we can do to be more pious. Words count. More than you or I even understand. And they count at home just as much as they do anywhere else.
p.s. Another post on mom and us today.